Slavery Convention signed on 25th September, 1926

By Nikita, SY BBA LLB

The Slavery Convention, also known as the Convention to Abolish the Slave Trade and Slavery, was signed on September 25th, 1926, and came into effect on March 7th, 1927.

The Slavery Convention of 1926 outlawed the practice of slavery and the slave trade and established clear instructions that State Parties agreed to follow to end these practices. Signatories to this Convention, which was established under the auspices of the League of Nations, are obligated to abolish slavery and slave trade in their respective countries. The Protocol modifying the Slavery Convention revises terminology by replacing references to the League of Nations entities with references to the United Nations agencies.

Slavery was defined in Article 1 of the Slavery Convention as “the position or condition of a person over whom the rights of ownership are exercised;” Slavery is defined as “acts involving the capture, sale, or transportation of enslaved persons… in general, any act of slave trade or transit.”

The Slavery Treaty was a result of the League’s Temporary Slave Commission, which found that slavery was pervasive across the world and that its abolition might be assisted by an international convention whose terms would be obligatory on the League’s member nations. Signatories to the agreement were obligated to stop slave traffic in their territorial seas and on ships flying their flag, help other countries in anti-slavery operations, and adopt national anti-slavery legislation and enforcement procedures. On the other hand, Article 9 of the agreement enabled each signatory to exclude any or all of its territory from the convention. This exception was sought by Britain for Burma and British India.

On September 25th, 1926, the League of Nations Assembly passed the Slavery Convention. On March 9th, 1927, it went into effect on a global scale. On September 25th, 1926, Canada signed the Convention, which it ratified on August 6th, 1928.

Annex to the Protocol amending the Slavery Convention signed on the 25th of September, 1926 at Geneva:

  1. “The Secretary-General of the United Nations” shall replace “the Secretary-General of the League of Nations” in article 7.
  1. In article 8, “the International Court of Justice” replaces “the Permanent Court of International Justice,” and “the International Court of Justice’s Statute” replaces “the Protocol of December 16th, 1920, pertaining to the Permanent Court of International Justice.”
  • “The League of Nations” should be substituted for “The United Nations” in the first and second paragraphs of Article 10.
  1. The last three paragraphs of Article 11 should be removed and they shall be substituted with “All States, including those that are not members of the United Nations, to whom the Secretary-General of the United Nations has sent a certified copy of the Convention, shall be eligible to join” and, “Accession shall be accomplished by the deposit of a formal instrument with the United Nations Secretary-General, who shall give notice thereof to all States Parties to the Convention and all other States contemplated in this article, informing them of the date on which each such instrument of accession was received in deposit.”
  • “The League of Nations” must be replaced with “The United Nations” in Article 12.

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